Senate passes comprehensive charity gambling bill

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The Indiana Senate passed a bill that would create a new comprehensive charity-gambling license, which is aimed at national organizations with Indiana affiliates.

Hunting groups, including Ducks Unlimited, lobbied last year for changes to the current licensing system, which requires local affiliates to apply for raffle and door-prize licenses. The bill would allow the national organization to file one application on behalf of all its Indiana affiliates

Memphis, Tenn.-based Ducks Unlimited was fined $4,250 last year for running a raffle without a license. The organization had applied for the license, but it didn’t arrive in time for the event.

Ducks Unlimited and groups like it tend to hold just one gambling event a year, typically a raffle, in conjunction with an annual dinner. Advocates said the single license would ensure better compliance and end the hassle for volunteer-run affiliates.

The bill would make any national organization with a presence in Indiana for at least three years eligible for the license. Rep. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, is sponsoring the bill in the House. The Senate approved the bill on a 50-0 vote.•

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